|Thanumalayan Temple of Suchindram. kanyakumaritemples.tnhrce.in|
|Thanumalayan Temple of Suchindram, TN templepurohit.com|
|Thanumalayan Temple Suchindram, Kanyakumari, TN, en.wikipedia.org|
The legend of this temple has a link with the chastity of Anasuya, wife of Sage Atri. The trinity gods, to test her chastity, appeared before Anasuya in the guise of brahmins demanding food. When she was ready to serve the food they, purposely, put forth a condition that they would eat only if she could serve them naked. Unperturbed, through the power of her chastity and character she converted the three Gods into babies and breast-fed them. On the plea of Gods' consorts, Anasuya restored them and on the same place a linga comprising three gods appeared which still exists.
The Trinity gods are represented in one form (linga) called Sthanumalyam that is the specialty of this temple.
According to yet another Sthala Purana, the head of devas Indira is believed to have performed Ardhajama Pooja at night every night to get rid of his curse through the grace of gods The Sanskrit word "Suchi" in Suchindrum stands for "purify". Indra, with overwhelming infatuation, wanted the company of Ahalya, the wife of Rishi Gautama. He chose the right time when the sage went to the river bank in the early morning to attend to his morning ablution and rituals. He took the form of Gautama to cheat his innocent wife. Upon his return to his hut, when sage Gautama saw Indira trying to mislead his wife, he cursed him that entire body will be covered with ''Yoni''(female organ) and his wife to turn into a rock. Indira's prayers to the trinity gods were finally answered. The three gods got rid of his curse and transformed him into his original form. As for Akalya, she was restored back to life. So
Once under the management of the Namboodiri families (Thekkumon Madam) when the district was under the Travancore state (prior to 1956), the renovation of this temple took place in the 17th century. Well known for its beautiful stone sculptures and architecture splendor, any visitor to to this town, can locate the temple by its tall 7-story ornamented entrance tower (gopuram) . On the tower one can see a myriads of various well-made deities of the Hindu pantheon. Abig temple water tank is just near-by with a small pavilion (mantap) in the center.
This temple enjoys many endowments made by Madurai Nayak rulers and later by the Travancore Maharajah under whose management the temple had functioned before Kanyakumari merged with Tamil Nadu. Ruler Ayilyam Thirunaall Maharajah of Travancore, introduced a special a lottery scheme in 1875 AD to get funds for rebuilding part of the temple and he received roughly Rs. 40,000.00, a big sum in those days.
|Susindram temple, TN harmonyatsouthindia.blogspot.com/|
|Alangara mandapa, Suchindram, TN. fusion.werindia.com|
The temple has amazing sculptures and art. The Alankara Mandapam is worthy of mention. Here, adjacent to the Northern corridor there are four large stone pillars (which stand at 18 feet (5.5 m) in height), each formed by a group of smaller pillars all carved from a single stone (chosen specifically for this purpose). Two of these large pillars have 33 smaller pillars and the other two 25 each. These are the famous musical pillars. of this temple. A striking fact is each of these smaller pillars produces a different musical note when tapped. These pillars are well-guarded surrounded by iron grills to prevent vandalism. They are quite famous just like those at the Nellaiappar temple of Tirunelveli, TN and the Humpi temple in Karnataka. The workmanship of these stone sculptures and ornate pillar, etc is just mind-boggling; the stone artisans of by-gone era had exceptional skill, imagination and patience. The Alankara Mandapam is a good example. So is the big dancing hall that is supported by 1035 ornate pillars with carvings.
Among the many attractions in this temple, the tall stone image of Anjaneya, (Hanuman) never fails to get our attention. Standing 22 feet (6.7 m) tall, it is a majestic piece of work carved out of a single granite block. Believed to be one of the tallest statues of its kind in India, it was, on purpose, kept buried below on the temple premises in 1740, fearing an attack by Tipu Sultan of Mysore and his army. Tipu Sultan raided Kerala in the late 18th century and destroyed many Hindu temples as well as Thomas Christian churches, hence precaution was taken to preserve this rare Hanuman statue. Only in 1930, the statue was unearthed and later restored by the then Devaswom Board Commissioner Rajya Seva Praveena Sri M.K. Neelankantha Iyer of Kottarathu Mathom, Moncompu for public viewing and puja rituals.
As for the Nandi (bull- mount of God Shiva), the stone image made of lime and mortar is 13 feet (4.0 m) tall and 21 feet (6.4 m) long; it is one of the biggest Nandi statues in India. The representation of the three main Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma in one Linga is a rare one found across India, showing the influence of Vaishnavite, and Shaivite sects living in this part, because early Chola, Chera and Pandya kingdoms patronized them. The temple has many deities of the Hindu pantheon, - Rama and Krishna to Amman and kanda (God Karthikaya).
|Suchindram Temple Chariot festival en.wikipedia.org|
|Suchindram Tnicely carved wooden temple car or rath, just base. en.wikipedia.org|